Find an Untold Narrative In Our Library!
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- Join our Mailing List | Untold Narratives
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- 30+ Islamic Stories for Muslim Kids | Featured Article
Tags: Muslim, Children’s stories, Kid’s stories, Islam, Ramadam
- Tu Pum Pum: Panamanian Artists Helped Birth Reggaeton, Then the Industry Left Them Behind |Featured Article
Tags: Boricua, Puerto Rico, el general, Panama, reggaeton
- The Moonlit Vine | Untold Narratives
The Moonlit Vine by Elizabeth Santiago Fourteen-year-old Taína just learned that she is a descendant of a long line of strong Taíno women, but will knowing this help her bring peace and justice to her family and community? Despite her name, Taína Perez doesn't know anything about her Taíno heritage, nor has she ever tried to learn. After all, how would ancient Puerto Rican history help with everything going on? There's constant trouble at school and in her neighborhood, her older brother was kicked out of the house, and with her mom at work, she's left alone to care for her little brother and aging grandmother. It's a lot for a 14-year-old to manage. But life takes a wild turn when her abuela tells her she is a direct descendant of Anacaona, the beloved Taíno leader, warrior, and poet, who was murdered by the Spanish in 1503. Abuela also gives her an amulet and a zemi and says that it's time for her to step into her power like the women who came before her. But is that even possible? People like her hardly make it out of their circumstances, and the problems in her home and community are way bigger than Taína can manage. Or are they? A modern tale with interstitial historical chapters, The Moonlit Vine brings readers a powerful story of the collective struggle, hope, and liberation of Puerto Rican and Taíno peoples. Published by Lee and Low . Also available in Spanish, Claro de luna Reviews * "A beautiful ode to Puerto Rican history...Santiago's writing sparkles, even as it draws upon hard realities that Puerto Ricans can face in their everyday lives and sense of cultural identity. Filled with arresting prose and historical stories, this novel brings Puerto Rican history into the present, mixing in realistic themes to which most readers will relate." -- Booklist, starred review * "Readers will cheer for the bold, resourceful protagonist as she uses her newfound power to bring everyone she cares about together ... Mayle's evocative black-and-white art and interstitial chapters centering Ty's ancestors through the centuries round out the contemporary storyline ... Deeply moving, beautifully written, and inspiring." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Mayle's elegant b&w art appears throughout and historical interstitials center Ty's forebears as they endured harrowing events such as genocide and colonization. Via evocative third-person prose, Santiago proudly showcases Taíno culture in this empowering debut that is at once educational, realistic, and speculative." -- Publishers Weekly Read Articles about The Moonlit Vine Listen to a Podcast Watch the Book Trailer!
- How do Writers Without Access to Books Develop a Craft? | The Untold Narratives
Tags: Craft, non-fiction
- Il Gelato | Untold Narratives
Il Gelato by Joann Garrido There was one moment when it all sank in. The buildup to my first trip to Italy was more than a bit consuming. Booked with my sister’s frequent flyer miles about a month before, it had the feel of something done on a whim. The best kind of plan. At the tender age of 57 I’d done my fair share of travel yet never managed to get to Italy, the land of our grandfather, and let’s face it, a dream destination. The weeks leading up to it were filled with shopping excursions to find, among other things, the right shoes. You know, ones that would support my often-achy feet, yet wouldn’t scream out “Look out! Unfashionable American headed your way!” I also needed to find a jacket that would not only keep me warm but would protect me in the event of rain. For me carrying an umbrella is basically an admission that I will, at some point, just lose it and get wet anyway. I don’t bother. And, of course, it had to look nice. I never have understood why so many of my people (Americans) choose to dress like they’re about to scale the Grand Canyon in their hiking gear, while visiting the grandiose cities of Europe. Let’s give these places some respect, can we? We can, at least, try to look almost as good as the place and its natives do. We will probably never achieve this, but a little effort won’t kill us. Having finally gotten my wardrobe settled and my packing completed, I was prepared to declare “smooth sailing ahead.” But the universe had other plans and decided to test my patience by sending snow filled Noreasters to the Boston area, on a weekly basis, as my departure date approached. For those of you who don’t know what a Noreaster is, just think about a wind-filled chaotic storm that will wreak havoc and include snow during cold months. March and April in New England are merely suggestive of Spring. Snow covered crocuses and pasty complexions are run of the mill sites during these months to those of us lucky enough to live here. Of course, one was scheduled for the week, specifically the DAY I was due to leave. My time that week became filled with calling Delta customer service reps, maniacally checking weather apps, and having to accept that as a non-religious person I was going to have to succumb to some form of prayer… or maybe a bribe to the universe. Hell, I’m glad there aren’t any goats in my neighborhood, or I might have been arrested trying to sacrifice one. I just could not accept that I might have to suffer through rescheduling flights and missing a day of my trip whose daily excursions were already booked and paid for. With less than 24 hours to go and on a steady diet of Tums, my manager subtly suggested I go home early and get my jittery vibes away from her. I do recall the word “Xanax” being mentioned at some point. So, imagine my relief when I arose, on the day in question, to pretty and windless flurries. All was good. It was happening. Really happening. And it did. Okay the flight to JFK got caught in some kind of wind we weren’t experiencing in Boston and took such a drastic pitch to one side for a moment that… I digress. I made it to Rome. My sister was at the hotel and my friends, who live in the Netherlands, joined us later to spend a couple of days with us. The sight-seeing. The pasta eating. The vino. All so good. But it wasn’t until day three, as we were walking through The Trastevere, having enjoyed a long, wine-filled lunch in the sun that we stopped to get gelato. Then, time slowed down. I looked around and saw that I was walking down a beautiful street in one of Rome’s oldest neighborhoods, with family and friends. The weather was perfect, the wine buzz was good, and the pistachio gelato was the sweet ending I hadn’t realized I needed. I was transported to that scene in “Eat, Pray, Love” where Julia Roberts is sitting on a bench, enjoying her gelato, next to a couple of nuns, and drinking in her Italian experience. I felt what her character must have, the joy of leaving one’s daily routine behind and being in such a beautiful setting. I let that moment, that great moment, just sink in. I was really there. I was really in Rome. And it was really good.
- Tu Pum Pum: Women Have Helped Carry Reggaeton Since the Beginning. Now They’re Its Future | Featured Article
Tags: Boricua, Puerto Rico, women, reggaeton, Ivy Queen
- Healing Family Trauma | Featured Article
Tags: Boricua, Puerto Rico, Colonialism, elders, Indigenous
- Deshaun Rice | Untold Narratives
Ode to My City by Deshaun Rice TUN Fellow Deshaun Rice used video to tell the story of his beloved Memphis, TN. As his final creative work for the TUN Fellowship, he offers this critical look at Memphis' education system and shares some of the historical context and current issues facing its residents. (c) Deshaun Rice 2023 for The Untold Narratives
- My Childhood: A Memoir | Untold Narratives Submission
My Childhood (a memoir excerpt) By Ellicent Daley Childhood memories are the most cherished in a person’s life, whether they were good or not so good. Looking back, my childhood days were both good and not so good. I can remember my mother who was just four feet ten, but a little spitfire and my dad, six feet four, but a gentle giant, and my brother, as mean as a star apple tree. You see, the star apple would not fall from the tree, regardless of how ripe it is. If you did not pick it, it would stay on the tree and dry out into nothing. So who was I? I was this shy, scrawny, back of the class, little girl with a head of hair like that of a horse’s mane, and a texture as curly and rough like steel wool. It was so long and coarse that my mother could not comb it every day. Sunday was my “Mane combing” day, which was an ordeal in and of itself both for mom as well as for me. I was so afraid to have my hair washed and combed that I wish Sunday would never come. I wished the week would stop at Saturday, and begin again on Monday that would skip my ordeal, but that was just “wishful thinking.” Mom would wash my hair every Sunday, oil, and twist each part and twist them into each other. She would tie my head at night with a scarf and brush it up every morning. Mom would say, “Why ain’t you a boy so I could cut this thing off your head?” Not only my hair was a problem, but she really wanted me to be a boy because she preferred boys to girls. But who is it that said we have freedom of choice? If we really was free to choose, I would have chosen to be a boy just to please my mother then I would get some of the love she showered on my brother. She would refer to him as her, “loving stomach.” But I was glad I was born a girl. Girls are gentle, delicate, tender, dainty, lovely and all that goes with being a female. Girls can be dressed in the prettiest little dresses, hair can be adorned with ribbons, wearing the little pattern leather shoes with frilly socks. That was how mom dressed me. Whereas boys can only be dressed in pants, a shirt and tie. People would always compliment me, “What a pretty little girl you are with all that hair.” That made me feel special. Mom didn’t like me getting all that attention from strangers, and my brother was not being complimented. Mom was the disciplinarian. She would not fail to use the strap for the smallest things. My brother and I would hide the strap so mother would send us to cut the redwood switch, but then we were a step ahead of her. We would use the knife to cut around the switch, so with each strike of the whip, it would break. Mother caught onto our trick, so she started wearing an apron with a pocket. This was where she kept the strap. “Hide my strap now,” mom would say. Mom was just four foot two, but she was a little spitfire. She was always busy caring for the family. She was an excellent cook, a work from home dressmaker, but with all her busy family life, she would find the time to care for the sick in our area. People who have sick family members would come get her at any hour of the night, and she would light her lantern, and go and administer to the sick. Dad would say, “But Ina, you can’t go this late, who will come back with you?” “Don’t worry Vic. I’ll soon be back. God will protect me.” Most times she would not return until morning, but she was certain to come back on time to make breakfast and get my brother and I ready for school. Mom was called “the lady with the lantern.” She had a good, kind heart always ready to hear the burden and sorrows of others and especially those she loved. Dad was six feet four. He was a gentle giant. The laid-back parent, but one who instilled morals in his children with words instead of the strap. I can remember a code dad would often use. “Before you speak ill of your neighbor, ask yourself these three questions: Is it right? Is it true? Is it necessary?” Another he would use especially to my brother who would always lie, dad would say, “A liar is not believed even when he speak the truth.” He was a stone mason by trade, a farmer, a good husband and father, and a good provider. He loved his family. I was daddy’s little girl.